Umami and Sweet Flavor Mashups

Food enthusiasts are always on the lookout for new and exciting flavor profiles. While this umami and sweet flavor profile has been around for some time in snacks like Chicago’s famous caramel cheddar popcorn, consumer focus on global and complex flavors will bring this combination to new heights. Well positioned as a modern flavor builder, the balance of these two flavors allow for the incorporation of many different unique and interesting flavors to entice curious consumers. Join us as we take a look at this unique flavor combination and how we can expect to see it pop up on menus and shelves in the future.


Miso and Maple


                Miso and maple are an unexpected flavor combination that pair perfectly in everything from desserts to protein. Complex, salty miso plays well with a number of sweet components such as peanut butter and caramel, but pairs particularly well with deep, nutty maple. The miso-maple flavor combination compliments mild confections like vanilla ice cream and brown butter blondies, and also acts as the perfect glaze on everything from salmon to chicken wings. Bartenders have also been experimenting with this unique pairing and putting new twists on old favorites like Old Fashioneds. Consumers looking for depth and added health benefits will gravitate towards this distinctive flavor profile.



Cheese and Fruit


                Fruit and cheese are a classic flavor combination, but consumer interest in new, international flavors has given this duo a global facelift. New pairings like goat cheese and yuzu, a sweet and tangy Japanese citrus, and refreshing watermelon and feta cheese are popping up on menus and food blogs. The intense umami flavor of pungent cheeses is balanced by the natural sweetness of fresh fruit, sprucing up salads, charcuterie boards, and artisanal sandwiches everywhere.



Fish Sauce and Caramel


Fish sauce is a traditional Vietnamese condiment made from the fermentation of various ingredients including fish and krill. Intensely salty and fragrant, this beloved sauce pairs surprisingly well with sweet components and is most commonly complimented by sugar to create fish sauce caramel. Common in Vietnamese cuisine, a viscous caramel sauce made with boiling hot water and sugar is combined with heaping spoonfuls of fish sauce to create nuoc mau, or fish sauce caramel. This unique, salty-sweet combination has recently made its way onto menus in the US, where it tops everything from fried chicken to pork chops and roasted vegetables. Consumers looking for a salty, briny punch of flavor will appreciate this complex condiment.